Strategies for Naming Twins

How to Choose Names for Twins

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What will you name your twins? Choosing a name for your child is an important decision, and for parents of twins, the process carries double responsibility. It's a big decision! Not only do you have to choose the perfect name for one baby, but for two babies at the same time! It's important to consider the significance of each individual name, but also whether the names work together. You want them to work well together in combination. But what's the best approach? Should they be similar or distinct, matching or mismatched? Here are some strategies to help you choose names for your twins. Whatever names you choose for your twins will reflect your family's heritage and personality, and represent your twins' identities throughout their lives.

Popular Names for Twins

2014 Most Popular Baby Names. @Pamela Prindle Fierro 2014

What are the most popular names for twins? Every year, there are new lists of names indicating the most popular baby names. If you want to "go with the flow," and stick with the most common, trending names for your babies, then be sure to consult these lists. While many mainstream names remain at the top of the list year after year, others do fall in and out of favor. Traditional names seem to be perpetually in vogue favorites, while other popular names are influenced by cultural or media highlights. Other consistently favorite choices include Ethan, Alexander, and Jacob for boys and Ava, Emma, and Olivia for girls. Try: Jacob and Jayden for boys, Sophia and Olivia for girls, or Ethan and Emily for mixed gender twins.

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Rhyming Names for Twins


 At one time, rhyming names were the height of fashion for twins, calling attention to their special connection and cementing their status as twins. Growing up, you may have known a set of twins named Randy and Sandy, Molly and Polly, or Rob and Bob. These days, however, rhyming names are less common. Some families consider them too cutesy or predictable or feel that they somehow detract from their twins' individuality. But you can still choose rhyming names for your twins in a more modern way, using creative spellings and clever matching.

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Names for Twins That Start with the Same Initial Letter

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 If you want your twins' names to coordinate without matching, a common first initial is a great way to tie them together. Many families choose this strategy for their children, even for singleton siblings. The possibilities for twin names with the same first letter are endless. How about Nicholas and Nathan, Delaney and Darcy, or Jackson and Julia?

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Coordinating but Not Matching Names for Twins


Looking for a happy medium? Maybe you want something in between rhyming or matching but with some kind of connection to reflect your children's twinship. Choose coordinating names! What do I mean by this? Perhaps you'll choose names with the same number or syllables, similar styles, complementary rhythms, or other commonality. These names balance each other in terms of style. Examples of names for twins that coordinate but don't match include:

  • For girl twins: Sophia and Isabella OR Ava and Mia
  • For boy twins: Jackson and Nicholas (Jack and Nick) OR Isaiah and Malachi 
  • For mixed gender twins: Parker and Harper OR Matthew and Madison

Celebrity Baby Names for Twins

Neil Patrick Harris and Family
Neil Patrick Harris and Family. Getty Images / Michael Buckner

Are you a star watcher? Maybe you want to capture some celebrity panache by naming your twins after a favorite personality from music, movies or television. Or maybe you're a fan of a celebrity how is also a parent of twins!  Refer to this list of celebrities and the names of their twins. 

Themed Names for Twins


One way to coordinate names for twins is to choose names with a common theme. Consider the meaning, etymology, or origin of names, and choose names for your twins that reflect variations on a theme. Some names represent personal characteristics or qualities, or perhaps concepts such as nature (Lily and Rose), seasons (Autumn and Summer), or geographical locations (Brooklynn and London). The theme can be subtle (Irish names, names that mean "strong" or "love") or more overt. For example, Faith, Grace, Joy, and Hope are popular choices as first names or middle names for girls.

Themed Names for Boy Twins:

  • Jacob and Joshua (Biblical names)
  • Marquis and Guillame (French names)

Themed Names for Girl Twins:

  • Isis and Juno (Greek mythology)
  • Arabella and Belinda (names that mean beauty)

Themed Names for Boy/Girl Twins:

  • Brook and Marina (water names)
  • Bronx and Bristol (city names)

Try these other lists for themed names for twins:


Virginia Star / Getty Images

Will you choose to name your twins after family members, friends, or other special people in your life? Recognizing another person as a namesake is a great honor, both for the one who is named, and the one after whom he or she is named. If you select a family name for your twins, don't overlook the middle names and maiden names of relatives as options for baby names. For example, Anderson and Emerson are surnames that can also be used as first names. Search your genealogy for unusual or old-fashioned names that deserve another turn in a modern fashion.

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